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Is Marijuana Good For Anxiety

Facts V Fiction: What The Research Says

MEDICAL CANNABIS FOR ANXIETY: One woman answers the question “Is marijuana good for anxiety?”
  • What is cannabis ?
  • Yes – cannabis can be an effective anxiety treatment – but the opposite is also true
  • Participate in a clinical trial about cannabis
  • Proceed with caution and keep these considerations in mind

With the growing legalization of medical cannabis throughout the United States, researchers are often tasked with answering the question of whether cannabis can be useful in alleviating conditions like anxiety-related disorders. Typically, cannabis use will likely worsen anxiety symptoms and interfere with evidence-based treatments, such as exposure therapy. However, preliminary research may suggest some positive benefits. For novice users looking to medical cannabis as an alternative method for anxiety reduction, using CBD is often a recommended starting point, so long as it is managed under the care of both a medical provider and mental health professional.

The Difference Between Anxiety And Stress

An added complication, according to Tishler, is that cannabis users are often confused when it comes to differentiating between anxiety and stress.

Stress is an emotion triggered by difficult situations, such as the breakdown of a relationship. Anxiety arises when sufferers are overcome with feelings of distress for no apparent reason.

Tishler says that many people self-medicate for anxiety when they are suffering from stress. Self-medicating with cannabis could provide users with a buffer to avoid taking action to improve their lives.

Tishler says medical cannabis can be an effective anxiety treatment especially useful when taken in small dosages before going to bed. This can create an effect that outlasts any intoxication.

People who use cannabis with THC throughout the day need to make sure they are using it responsibly and ensuring they dont become dependent and unproductive.

In practice in Australia, most patients who use medical cannabis to reduce anxiety are prescribed CBD dominant medication with little or no THC in the product, so this risk is reduced.

However there is no set formulation and treatment is very individualized. While THC can cause increased anxiety in some patients, for others it can help reduce anxiety.

How Marijuana Helps To Relieve Depression

Information about how cannabis use affects depression is limited, but with each new study, we continue to learn a bit more. Basically, its believed that stress disrupts the production of endocannabinoidsor chemicals that impact our emotions, behavior and moreand the deficiency of these chemicals can cause depression. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are thought to interact with endocannabinoid receptors, thus helping restore the endocannabinoid system and alleviating symptoms of depression.

Its important to note that while medical marijuana may be helpful for immediate, or short-term, relief of these symptoms, it is not recommended as a primary, long-term treatment for depression. That being said, it could be beneficial as a mood booster to supplement your regular treatment .

Animal studies have shown that THC may stimulate serotonin production, resulting in mood improvements, but high doses of the compound may worsen depressive symptoms. Non-psychoactive CBD is also known to alleviate stress and improve mood, and therefore, strains with higher CBD content may be a helpful option for those seeking depression relief.

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Wary Of Side Effects From Conventional Drugs Some People Are Using Cannabis As A Treatment Doctors Arent Sure Thats A Good Idea

More people are turning to cannabis to alleviate mental health problems like anxiety and depression, as well as insomnia, psychologists and researchers say. Yet the science on cannabis as a mental-health treatment is in its infancyand some evidence suggests that marijuana can make these problems worse.

Therapists say they are seeing more patients using pot in place of antidepressant drugs like Zoloft and Paxil. Common medications prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders can come with significant side effects, including weight gain and sexual dysfunction. They also dont work for everyone.

Many people who had tried psychiatric medication had a hard time with side effects and didnt want to get back on them, says Robert Yeilding, a clinical psychologist in Newport Beach, Calif. Dr. Yeilding says the number of his patients using pot, in addition to therapy, has risen in the past two years.

Marijuana consumption, for any use, has risen in the U.S. in the past decade. In 2020, 11.8% of people ages 12 and older said they used the drug in the past month, according to new survey data released Monday from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Just under 7% did in 2010. Among young adults ages 18 to 25, 23.1% said they used marijuana in the past month in 2020, up from 18.5% in 2010. The data doesnt distinguish between medical and recreational usage.

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Can You Get Medical Cannabis For Anxiety

Good For Anxiety

Many states across the country now list anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder as qualifying conditions allowing patients to participate in their medical marijuana program.

Patients can receive a prescription from a licensed marijuana doctor, fill out an application, and start buying and growing when they receive their medical card.

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Potent Hemp Source Is Crucial To Medicinal Efficacy

Where the manufacturers derive their hemp is a critical factor. A potent hemp source yields multiple benefits, especially to users experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. CBD edibles for anxiety are carefully sourced from outstanding hemp samples.

Researchers will then conduct a series of studies and tests to verify their claims. A quality hemp source must adhere to all the conditions required to grow hemp.

For instance, there are farmlands in the US that are well regulated, and are especially well-suited in terms of climate factors. Hemp sourced from such areas assures you of a product that maintains the highest levels of safety, is free from contaminants, and contains the lowest THC levels.

You benefit immensely when you pick CBD products whose sources of hemp are favorable. What’s more, they are effective even when sourced from plants that contain different cannabinoids in high measures.

Always read through the contents on the label before making a purchase. THC levels should not exceed the standard measure of 0.3%. Follow up on the potent hemp source to ensure that the cannabis has the greatest potential to yield calmness and peace of mind. Both studies and anecdotal experiences demonstrate that medical marijuana can help:

Calming Anxiety With Cannabis

Cannabis can be a first-line and adjunct therapy in personalized anxiety plans.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting 40 million Americans age 18 and olderâor 18.1% of the populationâevery year. Although anxiety disorders are considered highly treatable, survey data show that only about 37% of people suffering receive treatment.1 This may be due to misdiagnosed or undiagnosed anxiety, lack of access to health care services, or an aversion to conventional treatments.

The medical use of cannabis in the treatment of anxiety disorders has captured the interest of researchers, health care professionals, and patients alike, and research suggests that cannabis may bring relief to many patients. As more states legalize cannabis for medical purposes and other states revisit their medical use policies, anxiety increasingly is at the top of their lists of approved conditions. Thats been made possible thanks to research into the endocannabinoid system and its role in homeostasis. While there arent prescriptive recommendations for dosage or timing, clinicians are using cannabis as both a first-line and adjunct therapy in successful personalized anxiety management plans.

Respiratory System: Hormones released into the body due to anxiety can cause rapid, shallow breathing, especially during a panic attack.

7 Misconceptions About Using Cannabis for Anxiety

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The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

When it comes to depression, many people simply dont feel like sitting down and enjoying a healthy meal. Lack of appetite is also one of the most common symptoms of depression. And this is another problem that marijuana use can help overcome.

Stress is one of the most common causes of depression. Marijuana lowers stress levels. Of course, the ideal would be to eliminate all stress by practicing activities such as yoga and meditation. However, medical marijuana, although controversial, is also an effective technique for eliminating stress. Marijuana use can help reduce stress levels and relax both body and mind.

Suicidal thoughts, and worse, suicide attempts, are very common among patients with depression. One study, published in 2012, revealed a decrease in the suicide rate. The use of medical marijuana reduces the risk of suicide among patients with depression by decreasing their alcohol consumption.

Risks And Side Effects Of Marijuana

marijuana/CBD for anxiety, stress, and depression. Does it Work?

The use of any drug, whether it be an herbal or synthetic version carries risks and potential side effects. Marijuana is no different!

You may experience mild hallucinations or altered perception of reality, blood shot eyes, dry mouth and increased appetite. Marijuana may also have both depressant-like effects where you feel calm and relaxed but have issues with coordination and concentration. Or stimulating effects where you feel hyperactive, increased heart rate and rapid breathing.

Marijuana affects everyone differently. You can even have a different experience on separate occasions or across your lifetime. That is why its important to understand the difference between recreational use and medicinal use of marijuana.

When recreational marijuana is used as medicine, you cant be certain of how strong it is or the mix of chemicals in it, meaning one dose is never the same as another making it difficult to manage use effectively.

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Collecting Cannabis Impact Data

The study used data taken from an app which provides medical cannabis users a means of tracking how different doses and types of cannabis affect a wide variety of symptoms of wellbeing.

The users rate the symptoms they are experiencing before using cannabis on a scale of 1-10 and then input information about the type of cannabis they are using. Twenty minutes after inhaling, they are prompted to report how many puffs they took and to rerate the severity of their symptoms.

Cuttler and WSU colleagues Alexander Spradlin and Ryan McLaughlin used a form of statistical analysis called multilevel modelling to analyse around 12,000 anonymous app entries for depression, anxiety and stress. The researchers did not receive any of the app users personally identifying information for their work.

Cuttler said: This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Currently, medical and recreational cannabis users rely on the advice of bud tenders whose recommendations are based off of anecdotal not scientific evidence.

The study is among several cannabis-related research projects currently underway at WSU, all of which are consistent with federal law and many of which are funded with Washington state cannabis taxes and liquor license fees.

Can Cannabis Treat Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety occurs when theres an imbalance in the body. Certain parts of the cannabis plant, for example THC, act upon the endocannabinoid system . The ECS is responsible for the bodys homeostasis, or balance. CBD, another chemical in cannabis, not only has anti-anxiety effects, but it also acts on different biological systems which help optimise internal processes.

Cannabiss chemical properties and interactions with the body are how cannabis helps treat anxiety.

You will find conflicting information about cannabis and anxiety. Cannabis is prescribed for anxiety but there are warnings not to use cannabis if you have anxiety or depression. People often think cannabis can cause anxiety but its not that simple.

Cannabiss impact on anxiety has to do with a number of factors which are discussed in our does cannabis cause anxiety article.

Cannabiss impact on anxiety has to do with a number of factors which are discussed in our does cannabis cause anxiety article.

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Does Marijuana Help With Anxiety What The Research Says

There are two main chemical compounds in marijuana: tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol .

Both attach to specific receptors in the brain, which trigger the various sensations you feel. THC is the chemical that produces the high you experience when you use marijuana, while CBD has a more subtle, non-intoxicating effect.

Though some US states have legalized marijuana, there are still restrictions in place against using marijuana in medical research. Therefore, there’s limited scientific proof that marijuana can alleviate anxiety. But that hasn’t stopped people from using the drug to find relief.

A 2016 survey of medical marijuana users found that 58 percent of users say they use marijuana to treat their anxiety. And in a small 2012 study, two-thirds of college students with high social anxiety reported that they smoke marijuana to help them cope with social situations.

Given the lack of scientific research, it’s unclear what chemical in the marijuana plant may help with anxiety whether it’s THC, CBD, a combination of both, or something else entirely.

But a 2015 review of 40 preliminary studies on CBD found that this chemical may play a key role. The researchers said they found encouraging, preliminary results that concentrated doses of CBD oil, when taken regularly, could be an effective treatment for a host of anxiety disorders including:

Will It Show Up On A Drug Test

Is Weed Good For Depression And Anxiety

Again, it depends on how much THC is in the CBD you take.

The average drug test checks for THC. If the amount in your system exceeds the threshold of the test, youll have a positive result. But the tests dont screen for CBD. If the product youre using is pure, you should be fine. Even if there are trace amounts of THC in the product, it probably wont be enough to cause you to fail the test.

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Cannabis Can Be Found In Various Forms And The Health Benefits Of Cannabis Is Ever Growing Here Tara Leo Of Caliextractions Gives Us An Insight Regarding The Diverse Benefits Of The Plant

Cannabis contains CBD which is a chemical that impacts the brain, making it function better without giving it a high along with THC which has pain relieving properties. Both substances can be extracted and enhanced for use through short path distillation. Users can get the following health benefits of cannabis:

What Does The Research Say

  • THC in cannabis has been shown to be more anxiety-inducing, while CBD has shown to be more anxiety-reducing
  • For chronic recreational users, cannabis use can lead to significant health risks, as well as increased anxiety particularly during withdrawal
  • Individuals suffering from PTSD or chronic pain have reported a reduction of anxiety-related symptoms when using cannabis medically
  • Small sample sizes and significant limitations in the research make it difficult to conclusively state the benefits of cannabis use in treating anxiety

Although some positive outcomes have been shown in those using cannabis for medical purposes, an analysis of the therapeutic utility of cannabis for treating anxiety symptoms has proven much more challenging. For example, we know that cannabis can have both anxiety-inducing and anxiety-reducing properties:

  • THC shows a greater tendency toward anxiety-induction.
  • CBD shows slight anxiety-reduction properties.

Specifically, THC has been shown to increase anxiety in animal studies11,12 while CBD has demonstrated decreased anxiety in similar studies as well as in the treatment of anxiety caused by high levels of THC13,14. Similar opposing effects of CBD and THC were found in a neural activation study of 15 healthy men15. Despite these findings, sweeping conclusions remain unclear, making it difficult to parse out how different strains of cannabis use effect and interact with anxiety.

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